Paris, the ex Prime Minister Fillon sentenced to 5 years for the “Penelopegate” scandal


PARIS – Former French Prime Minister François Fillon has been sentenced to 5 years in prison (three of which are suspended) and a fine of 375 thousand euros for misappropriation of public funds in the context of the scandal over the fictitious hiring of his English wife Penelope who the presidential ambitions of the transalpine politician sank in 2017, opening the doors of the Elysée to Emmanuel Macron.


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“Ms. Fillon was hired for a completely useless position – said the judge reading the sentence – and the salaries received were largely disproportionate to the work actually done”. Penelope Fillon – sentenced in turn for complicity in three years of prison (suspended) and a fine of 375 thousand euros – has received over the years about 650 thousand euros for the position. Her sons Marie and Charles were also found guilty on the same charges. The spouses Fillon, who announced the appeal, were also sentenced to repay € 1 million to the National Assembly.
The court rejected the defense attorneys’ request to postpone the decision in a “Cesarini area” after a member of the Paris public prosecutor’s office denounced strong pressure on the Fillon case. During the presidency of Nicholas Sarkozy, the ex-premier had taken to the track in the last elections for the Elysée as a favorite. After the outbreak of the “Penelopegate”, born on revelations of “Le Canard Enchainé”, he had refused to withdraw from the presidential race but had been ousted in the first round. Fillon, present in court today, was also suspended for ten years from public offices even though the 66-year-old Republican politician has already retired from politics.

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